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The Feminine Public Sphere – Middle-Class Women in Civic Life in Scotland, C.1870–1914 - Manchester Scholarship Online
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The Feminine Public Sphere: Middle-Class Women in Civic Life in Scotland, C.1870–1914

Megan Smitley


Middle-class women made use the informal power structures of Victorian and Edwardian associationalism in order to participate actively as citizens. This investigation of women's role in civic life provides a fresh approach to the ‘public sphere’, illuminates women as agents of a middle-class identity and develops the notion of a ‘feminine public sphere’, or the web of associations, institutions and discourses used by disenfranchised middle-class women to express their citizenship. The extent of middle-class women's contribution to civic life is examined through their involvement in reforming a ... More

Keywords: middle-class women, informal power structures, associationalism, citizenship, women's public lives, separate spheres, philanthropic associations, local government, nineteenth-century Britain, suffrage

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780719079665
Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012 DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719079665.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Megan Smitley, author